THE GREAT SAFARI OF A RENOWNED ENVIRONMENTALIST:PROF.WANGARI MAATHAI’S ,HUMBLE BEGINNING AND THE ULTIMATE TO RISE OF HIGH STATUS IN THE WORLD. BY;MUNGAI.

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The environment conservation world,and,the entire world ,especially those who do have a concern for the nature and the eco-system ,are in the mourning mood,following the untimely death of the Green Belt movement ,founder,Nobel laureate,Professor,Wangari Maathai.Prof.Wangari,succumbed to cancer related complications at the wee hours of Monday,26th September.And,following that untimely death,messages of condolences continues to flood,as key leaders mourns the fallen heroine who acted as a role model to many.

The saying ,”if you can’t write something worth reading,then live a life worth written,”came to life with the passing on of Nobel laureate,Prof.Wangari.Her death has left an empty space not only in the hearts of kenyans and the world ,but,also to the environment that she fervently worked to protect.She was an icon of hope who watered the eroding nature with the zeal for she knew that it was the source of life.Now it is our turn to honour her .Though she has left us ,her influence will never fade.

Professor Wangari,who died of cancer at 71,was a woman of many firsts-a woman of all seasons .She is a celebrated academic,an icon,a democrate,human rights crusader,an activist,and above all of what she identified himself with ,what she loved most,which was deeply-rooted in heart,an environmentalist.

Whether in academia ,as a human right crusader,as a feminist ,or,an environmentalist par excellence,she had few ,of which she has won many accolades.And,she did all these,not for personal glory,but,because she truly believed in what she was fighting for.

Conservation of mother nature,environment and it’s eco-system ,both flora and fauna were her crusade’s by-line,and ,what she truly believed and advocated.It was a safari which she initiated and did it with an admirable zeal.

And,it is this passion and desire that led him to initiate the GreenBelt movement,to sensitize and educate people ,the importance of trees and their conservation,encourage them to plant more indigenous trees,preserve a clean free environment,educate people on the need to conserve the forests and increase it’s cover,campaign against deforestation and the encroachment of forests.To him environment is the life.

To quote her popular quote,she used to say that ,”nature is so unforgiving if we continue to do injustices to it,it will punish us severely in the near future.”And,her words have come to pass if the effects of global climatic changes are anything to go by.This is coupled by adverse ,erratic and harsh unpredictable weather patterns which are characterized by by the El nino and La nina weather effects.

To him the trees were that precious commodity worth preservation.Overall,she was a celebrated environmentalist crusader,of which her efforts were paid-off when she was awarded a Nobel prize for her efforts of conserving the nature.Indeed,in 2004 ,she was awarded the peace peace prize in recognition of her contribution in environmental conservation,good governance,human rights and democracy.

It was a battle which she fought so gallantly,to such a high magnitude admiration,although at times she had a few brushes with the former K.A.N.U regime.But,the greatest accomplishment was in helping save both ,Uhuru recreation park[1989]and Karura forest,from the depredations of members of the klepto-cratic regime who had shared the lungs of the city among themselves.

At times when most seemed unaware of the importance of environmental conservation ,Prof.Maathai,fought to ensure that the future generations do not suffer because of our carelessness.Not many would sacrifice the way she did for the environment .The only way to honour her is to ensure we continue with the ideals she stood for -protect our environment.

The death of Nobel laureate should make us reflect on what we can do to halt environment degradation.It is a challenge to all of us to protect the environment by planting trees to increase the country’s forest cover.The courageous environmentalist will be remembered for her courage and tenacity in seeking social justice,conservation,democracy,and in fighting corruption.We should emulate her concern for environmental degradation to ensure future generations do not suffer.

In summation of her great safari in life ,she was the simple african woman with whom she planted trees ,who rose from a humble beginning to the ultimate rise to the high status in the society and the world to become a renowned environmentalist,whom the world sought her counsel and feted her for her brilliance and feisty dedication to humanity.


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